Education MEC Debbie Schäfer visited Intshayelelo Primary School in Khayelitsha. Picture Supplied
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer visited Intshayelelo Primary School in Khayelitsha. Picture Supplied

Education MEC visits Khayelitsha schools disrupted by taxi violence

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jul 28, 2021

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Cape Town - Education MEC Debbie Schäfer visited three schools in Khayelitsha to assess readiness for the third term, engaging with the principals on their challenges.

Her visit came as she received complaints from schools that were affected by the ongoing taxi violence, with some learners not able to attend on the first day of the term.

She visited three schools: Injongo Primary School in C Section, Joe Slovo High School in Khayalitsha, and Intshayelelo Primary School in Ilitha Park.

Schäfer said there were some schools that had been affected by the taxi disruptions, which was highly regrettable given the amount of time that has been lost by schools.

She said she was impressed with the work that was being done by the principals.

"They are creative, committed and they really are doing their very best to try and ensure that the learners have the best opportunity for a quality education."

"They often are dealing with difficult circumstances, but they are working on relationships with communities to protect their schools," said Schäfer.

SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Jonavon Rustin said they had also done an assessment on Tuesday to see if the pupils’ attendance had improved.

Vanessa le Roux, founder of a group called Parents for Equal Education SA, urged Schäfer to also be an active player in negotiations on the taxi violence discussions - for the sake of learners.

Le Roux said the reality was that the MEC should realise her sector was heavily impacted, and that she needed to enter the table of negotiations and prioritise learners.

"We need to know from the department what their plan is to accommodate learners affected by this taxi violence; will they be given another chance to rewrite?" she asked.

ANC provincial spokesperson on education Khalid Sayed said they would join the transport committee meeting tomorrow and demand that all stakeholders find a solution for the sake of learners who found it difficult to be transported to schools because of the taxi violence.

Sayed said the other challenge faced by the schools was that Covid-19 devastation was very much present.

“The Western Cape Education Department needs to give parents a greater sense of confidence that schools are ready, especially by increasing infrastructure as inequalities continue, and to also push hesitant teachers to take the vaccine amid the ridiculous conspiracy theories,” he said.

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